Great Outdoor Essentials: Paddling Oxtongue

Canoe bench, matches, toque, oxtongue, binoculars, map paddle

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017 (Baysville, ON) When you’re paddling the Oxtongue River, little else matters. Stresses fade away with every stroke of the paddle as you glide across the water. The scenery is spectacular – it’s no wonder Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven were inspired to paint some of their iconic works here – and the sound of the wind in the pines soothes the soul.

Paddlers have long embraced the Oxtongue and its headwaters to the east in Algonquin Park. You only need a few essentials to really connect with the land and water: a canoe, a paddle, a lifejacket, and a map. And you’re far more likely to encounter wildlife than people.

The Oxtongue didn’t just inspire the Group of Seven – it inspired a new brew, too. The canoe is older than this great country, so a day of paddling calls for a beer that will equally stand the test of time, a brew like Lake of Bays Oxtongue India Pale Ale. Its refreshing citrus twist echoes the coolness of a dip in the water, and it leaves you with a lingering pine bitterness reminiscent of the great trees that line the water.

Oxtongue IPA in creek

Just like the Group of Seven and the brewmasters at Lake of Bays Brewery, you can get inspired by the scenery of the Oxtongue, too. While you’re out paddling this summer, whether it’s on the Oxtongue or one of our other great waterways, snap a few photos for The Great Outdoors photo contest, inspired by Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven. It’s sponsored by Lake of Bays Brewery, Algonquin Outfitters and Cavalcade Color Lab and features fabulous prizes.

If you don’t have a canoe to start your adventure, don’t worry – Algonquin Outfitters can help. For more than 50 years, they’ve been outfitting outdoor enthusiasts just like you. Stop in at their store on the shores of Oxtongue Lake.

Oxtongue IPA is part of the Great Outdoors collection from Lake of Bays Brewery, all of which are made from the fresh, clear water of Lake of Bays. You’ll find it all season long – and the rest of the year, too – at the LCBO, Beer Store, and grocery.


Pssssst! Speaking of Tom Thomson, we’ll be releasing a brand new brew in Mid-September in honour of the 100th anniversary of his death. Look out for The West Wind Black IPA. Portion of the proceeds go to the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Great Outdoor Essentials: Spark House Watch Tower

Coffee Maker, Toque, Firebird matches, Spark House Red Ale, Knife...Spark House On Watch

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017 (Baysville, ON) There’s no more classic summer activity than relaxing next to a campfire. With friends and family, with or without music – fireside jam session anyone? – and with your favourite campfire snacks at hand, it’s quintessential Lake of Bays no matter how you choose to enjoy it.

And every time, you reach for your trusty essentials: a cozy blanket, a comfy camp chair, sticks for roasting marshmallows, and your favourite brew. Whether you’ve retreated to your backyard fire pit or you’re relaxing fireside at a campsite, nothing pairs better with a crackling fire than the smoky notes of Lake of Bays Spark House Red Ale. Hints of chocolate malt complement that other campfire classic, ‘smores, and Spark House’s smokey finish makes it the perfect accompaniment to grilled food.

Like the fire towers that watched over Lake of Bays for decades, Spark House reaches new heights in craft beer. And there’s a reason it’s become a perennial favourite, just like the campfire: it’s perfect for any summer occasion. This classic anchors the Great Outdoors collection from Lake of Bays Brewery, all of which are made from the fresh, clear water of Lake of Bays. You’ll find it all season long – and the rest of the year, too – at the LCBO, Beer Store and Grocery.

When you’re in Lake of Bays, you can visit one of the places that inspired Spark House: the Dorset Fire Tower. A climb to the top offers sweeping views of the lake below. While you’re there, let the landscape inspire you and snap a few photos for The Great Outdoors photo contest, inspired by Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven. It’s sponsored by Lake of Bays Brewery, Algonquin Outfitters and Cavalcade Color Lab and features fabulous prizes.

Great Outdoor Essentials: Switchback to Hiking

Switchback to Hiking

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017 (Baysville, ON): When you lace up your boots and hit the trails, everything falls away. The sounds of traffic are replaced by birdsong, air conditioned buildings become a light breeze through the forest, and you can find yourself again.

All around Lake of Bays and in nearby Algonquin Park you’ll find a variety of trails, some that will give you a quick hit of nature, others that will challenge you, but all will remind you why you love the great outdoors.

If you need gear to get you out there, stop in at local retailer Algonquin Outfitters on your way. Then try the lesser-known Echo Valley Nature and Bike Trails west of Dwight for a quiet woodland experience, challenge yourself to hike up to the Dorset Fire Tower – bring along a blanket and a backpack full of snacks and settle in at the top to enjoy your hard-earned vantage point – or take a stroll along the Muskoka River in Baysville before making your way to Lake of Bays Brewery.

There you’ll find Switchback Pilsner, the perfect brew to end any hike, created in honour of those trails that always lead to the best views around. It’s a tangy, light-bodied beer as brilliantly gold as the mid-day sun – a refreshing way to toast a day spent in the woods.

Switchback is part of the Great Outdoors collection from Lake of Bays Brewery, all of which are made from the fresh, clear water of Lake of Bays. You’ll find it all season long – and the rest of the year, too – at the LCBO, The Beer Store and grocery.

While you’re hiking the great outdoors this summer, snap a few photos of your favourite landscapes for The Great Outdoors photo contest, inspired by Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven. It’s sponsored by Lake of Bays Brewery, Algonquin Outfitters and Cavalcade Color Lab and features fabulous prizes.

Switchback is the August beer of the month at Sobeys. A portion of the proceeds are directed to the Gord Downie Brain Cancer Research fund at Sunnybrook.